Karen Smith was born in London in 1970 and spent her formative years in Waltham Abbey. It was there that her parents nurtured her musical promise by encouraging piano and guitar lessons. Upon moving to Norfolk at the age of 9 she then set about learning the clarinet and saxophone; by the age of 12 Karen had 2 grade 8 Distinctions – including the highest mark in the country for piano.

During her teenage years Karen played in the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra and Wind Band, the National Scout & Guide Concert Band and the National Scout & Guide Orchestra – her first appearance on a vinyl record was with the NS&G Concert Band in 1983.  This just cemented her love of music and made a career choice very easy, although it was a close call between mathematics at Cambridge or music at one of the London colleges. In the end it was neither!

Professionally, Karen has been lucky enough to work with many amazing musicians all over the world but is now happily settled in Norfolk, teaching both privately and for GYAN (Guildhall Young Artists Norwich), an offshoot of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, as well as accompanying singers and instrumentalists all over the country & in Europe.